Trappy Lad

by Tony Morris

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1.
Iron Rush 01:42
The Iron Rush They came from the four corners of the Country, Pilgrim’s of need, walkers weary of their journeys To tented towns hard by the village pump. They had heard of California, Texas And to them, among those Cleveland Hills, Eston was Klondike. Iron ? Gold? What difference to the starving? This was work and pay. From the four corners of the Country Those labourers and miners fought their way Against hunger, storm and tempest. They were betrayed, exploited And in the end, thrown away, Rubble on the pit heap, Grassed over, never minded, lost. Today, the subject of archaeology, Grey, silent ghosts still walk among the hills, Rosedale, Goathland, Beckhole, Grosmont, Eston. Pilgrims of need, they left no sound And, so, I, as bard and poet must sing the song My great grandfather never sung And tell their stories.
2.
PILGRIMS OF NEED We are workers. We are walkers. We are pilgrims of need. We want to make it rich But not from common greed. We are workers. We are walkers. We are pilgrims of need. We have to make some money. We have families to feed. We are workers. We are walkers. We are pilgrims of need. Agriculture’s dying And we ’ve used up all our seed. We are workers. We are walkers. We are pilgrims of need. Tin mining’s failing And our bellies begin to bleed. We are workers. We are walkers. We are pilgrims of need. Soldiers and sailors, Forgotten our brave deeds. We are workers. We are walkers. We are pilgrims of need. From all parts of the Union Trek families for bread. We are workers. We are walkers. We are pilgrims of need. By iron in North of Yorkshire We hope to be freed. We are workers. We are walkers. We are pilgrims of need. We are tramping northward, ‘Survival’ is our creed. We are workers. We are walkers. We are pilgrims of need. We are but the vanguard Driven to take the lead. We are workers. We are walkers. We are pilgrims of need. We are workers. We are walkers. We are pilgrims of need. All drawn to the ironstone hills. Iron draws an iron breed.
3.
Wagon Rule 02:42
WAGON RULE I'm a miner for ironstone. I work in the Pecten Seam. My tools are a pick and a candle As I hew the workings clean. Watch out for the wagons rolling. They'll take your breath away And the Doctor has no medicine To save your life today. I'm up in the early morning Before it's getting light. I walk from Beckhole to Grosmont. I'll not be back afoor night. Watch out for the wagons rolling. They'll take your breath away And the Doctor has no medicine To save your life today. We work the Bord and Pillar And, when we're cutting out, You'll hear the Deputy shouting They're going to blast and rout. Watch out for the wagons rolling. They'll take your breath away And the Doctor has no medicine To save your life today. The ironstone miner's life is hard And the Putter gets his cut But he rolls the wagons And the wagon rules the lot. Watch out for the wagons rolling. They'll take your breath away And the Doctor has no medicine To save your life today.
4.
An ironstone miner works in the dark Below the fields so green-o. With bairns to feed , little time to lark Among the fields so green-o. Rabbit pie helps the bairns grow strong Around the fields so green-o, Makes wives to smile so can't be wrong Close by the fields so green-o. Keepers and gentry squeeze us hard In and out the fields so green-o, 'Private Land' and gates that are barred All over fields so green-o. We're iron men working iron stone Below the fields so green-o But there's flesh and blood to feed above Hard by the fields so green-o. in darkness shut away, trapped every day Beneath the fields so green-o There're thanks for t' love O't' bairns and wives above, Among the fields so green-o. An ironstone miner works in the dark Below the fields so green-o. With bairns to feed , little time to lark Among the fields so green-o.
5.
STRUGGLING ON In the Chapel where we pray, We give thanks for every day That we live and earn our pay, Stay alive, stay alive. In the morning, down the mine, When they’re blasting time on time, You’re doing mighty fine To stay alive, stay alive. CHORUS Struggling on, struggling on, Singing life’s sweet song. Struggling on, struggling on, We’re living life’s sweet song. In the Chapel where we learn To sacrifice and earn, For a better life we yearn In Kingdom come, in Kingdom come. At the ending of the day When the wagons role away And your in fresh air you say, “I’ve survived. I’ve survived.” CHORUS In the beerhouse where we drink, That’s our time to think, Forget we’re living on the brink Of Kingdom come, Kingdom come. In the candle dark and heat There’s only grit to eat And some men that you meet Don’t stay alive, stay alive. CHORUS In the beerhouse on a night We keep our honour bright Singing hymns with all our might. We come alive, come alive. We know our Saviour on high, Though our maisters lie and lie, Will save us though we die; Our spirits will survive, will survive. Struggling on, struggling on, Singing life’s sweet song. Struggling on, struggling on, We’re living life’s sweet song.
6.
We take our pleasures as we find Up above our daily grind, Netting rabbits, snickling hares, Pitch and toss, but have a care Constable Stone is never far from mind. Constable Stone's a hard man That keeps us all in check. If he sees you with a hare He could break your neck. Chorus Constable Stone's an iron man Whose grip is steely strong. If you are at pitch and toss Stone's law says it's wrong. Chorus Constable Stone has no cracks, A pure and flawless seam, No pick no powder brings him down. He drinks the crystal stream. Chorus Constable Stone will fall on you When you least expect. He's an Officer without mercy, A constable with no respect. Chorus Constable Stone will crush you. He'll grind you on the floor. He's above us and below us And he'll leave your widow poor. We take our pleasures as we find Up above our daily grind, Netting rabbits, snickling hares, Pitch and toss, but have a care Constable Stone is never far from mind.
7.
The Chapel was crowded and silent. The Preacher gave his address. He tried to be kind But none there was blind To what the ‘Demon Drink’ could do. Butcher Lawson sat upright and stern But his heart was breaking in two. George Lawson had always been ‘Chapel’. He never touched a drop. He taught young Johnny, his son, That once you’ve begun, you can’t stop. Johnny he listened and nodded, respectful, As lads in their teens sometimes do But his pals had other ideas And they would taunt him so. Well, Johnny knew where to get money, His Dad keeping a butcher’s shop, So, at last, he succumbed to temptation, A path with a sudden drop. Young Walker and young Ingledew Where not real friends of John. They were local lads he sought to impress. In his hour of need, they’d gone. They said if he’d get the gin They knew a secret hut Close by an old pit shaft, Whether it was Sunday or not. Daft Johnny sneaked off to meet them With a pint and a half of gin. They lit the cabin fire. John was drawn right in. When the pint and a half was supped Two went off to get more. They left young Johnny alone, sitting, Propped up near the cabin door. Returning a fair while later, in the February dark, They found the cabin empty, bare, Not a sign of John, he’d upped and gone But they knew from his state it couldn’t be far. They searched and they searched And they panicked. It was bitter dark. They went for help from the Village, Found out in their secret lark. It was ten at night when the found John At the bottom of the old pit shaft, A sad night for the families. It was said, “As lads, there’s nowt so daft.” In a public room at the Wharton Arms, With the open coffin there, The Queen’s Coroner and a jury Heard this story of this affair. So now the Chapel is silent, As the Wharton Arms had been, As the Jury gave it’s verdict, “Accidental Death. John Lawson. Aged sixteen. Some lads fall into bother And end up with angels too soon While others skirt round the pitfalls Though they try to steal the Moon.
8.
The Reward 02:21
Knock, knock on the door. It’s Sergeant Stones, a man of iron tread. When it’s Sergeant Stones knocking at your door Men usually tremble with dread. Shebeening? But at Marske they had a knight, Sir Robert was his name. A miner by trade, he was not afraid And he’d fight for the right of The ordinary working man, The ordinary drinking man To go Shebeening. Well, Sergeant Stones told the beak, A crafty and crooked old freak, There were seventeen men, Two lodgers and a hen And a kitchen full as well All a-swell and carousing On intoxicating liquor. Shebeening. Well, quicker than you think When you’ve had a little drink, Sir Robert told his Worship That everything was free, As a freeborn knight was he With his hospitality just Entertaining 0f his friends. Shebeening? Sergeant Stones was hard and circumspect. He said, “Don’t you fall for that, Your Worship, with respect. Here’s a Marske miner, A minor earner, with a load of liquor, You can’t tell me he’d give it away, He couldn’t afford to, It’s the most Absurd story you’ve heard all day. He was Shebeening.” “Your right Sergeant Stones,” Says his Worship, to Robert, “You’re fined a tenner with costs. The liquor I confiscate so now it’s the Laws. Sergeant Stones, out the back. Most of it’s mine, some of it’s yours. That’s what I like about Shebeening.
9.
CHORUS My man, he is a miner, He hews the iron stone. I live in fear of pit whistle And to see him carried home. Feet first or last, no matter, We could still be out on street. If he can’t use a pick and shovel, He can’t go down the pit, Then he’ll no longer be a miner, Next pay day we’ll have to flit. Aye, but with six bairns where’ll we flit to And we’ll have to beg our bread. If my man can’t work for our living We’d all be better dead. CHORUS Well, all this I daren’t speak often, For fear of bringing bad luck, But I can’t stop myself from thinking When I’m washing out all the muck. Aye, iron mining is a mucky job, Over boot tops all day in water But any jobs better than being dead, Bairns need food, a roof over their heads. CHORUS When first the two of us walked here We lived in a leaky tent. Then the Company built some houses And inside trap we went. The house, it goes along with the job, So now we’ve got no options; The Company must get its way And the owners live in mansions. CHORUS ‘Between a rock and a hard place’, As the Good Book puts it clear, The rock of the ironstone face And the maisters grip of fear. And a woman’s work is never done, For us there are no shifts But still we tremble when we see Our men walk down the drift. My man, he is a miner, He hews the iron stone. I live in fear of pit whistle And to see him carried home.
10.
HEROES OF ESTON CHORUS Brambles bright, brambles bright Blackberry eyes shining like night, Roots so deep, like women’s way, Here in the ground from the good old days When it was free to roam about Without permission of Lordy Stout. Lordy has his keepers all in the lanes, If they had there way we’d all be in chains. They tell us the brambles are Lordy’s to own Like the coney and the hare when the summer birds have flown. Well one day in October in eighty two, Before the devil had taken his due, Some lasses were blackberrying on Agar’s Bank When they smelled summat that really stank. CHORUS Out jumped Harland, a Hardcastle was he, Not only by name but a keeper you see. He said, “These brambles that you’ve thieved, I’ll take the baskets.” The lasses were aggrieved. For twopence they’d sell to the market man, For sixpence to the moneyed folk he’d sell them on. From the money that they got the women paid the rent So on keeping their baskets they were hell bent. CHORUS As they were arguing and pushing to and fro Six Eston miners come walking in a row They were going to the pit to do a days work But they’d not stand aside and duty shirk. There was a Thompson, a Buxton and John Cripsall, A Hodgson, a Wharton, a Mortimer and all. These miners with one voice said, “This won’t do. These lasses need their pickings. Their rents are due. Brambles bright, brambles bright Blackberry eyes shining like night, Roots so deep, like women’s way, Here in the ground from the good old days When it was free to roam about Without permission of Lordy Stout. But Harland was hard, in his Hardcastle way, He wouldn’t listen to what they had to say. Well them as wouldn’t listen could expect a bloody snout When the heroes of Eston were that way out. The lasses grabbed their baskets and ran of right quick But Harland reported lads to the Beaks. There was a Thompson, a Buxton and John Cripsall, A Hodgson, a Wharton, a Mortimer and all. CHORUS The Eston lads said they’d done nowt wrong. Lordy’s pals on Bench sang a different song. They found them guilty each fined four and six, That’s ten stone of brambles you’d need to pick. So here’s to th’ Eston miners who stood up for the right, Not knights in shining armour but forever crowned with light. They protected some lasses who never did no harm Save to want to keep their bairns safe in house and home. Brambles bright, brambles bright Blackberry eyes shining like night, Roots so deep, like women’s way, Here in the ground from the good old days When it was free to roam about Without permission of Lordy Stout.
11.
Eighteen hundred and sixty nine, Rosedale East Mine, A bright day but one of those days When you feel the thunder in the air. Below the ground, where the iron was found The horses knew and fratched and chewed around. The drivers drove their horses and The wagons rolled along But crash, and grind and sparks behind One wagon was derailed. From a boy, Abraham Allison had worked his way up. Now, at twenty, a fine strapping man, Horse drivers overlooker, he had a plan To go all the way to the top. He’d not many friends, his being a gaffer, But William Turner was not awed by him, And down in the Village, they’d have a sly gin And a crack about lasses, which one might give in. And here was the reason they later fell out For William knew things Abraham would not want put about. Young Horse Driver, William had a grip, So he thought, on Abraham’s whip hand, When work was to do, as Abraham’s best friend. This was not as Abraham saw it, Village was Village and Mine was Mine’ At work there could be no favourites, A point, on that day when the wagon derailed, He wanted to underline when he ordered Young William to get the wagon back on track. When William said, “No,” Abraham, Without a second thought, came back With a mighty snouter and William, Gaffered, grumbling, truculent, Got the wagon on line and went off Further down the mine. Ten minutes he was back, driving his nag. As he passed Abraham he upped with his oak spragg And struck out. Abraham fell, cut and bleeding, Where the horses always trod, In their muck and in the dusty grit and grime. They carried Abraham out. William was arrested for his crime, assault. Days later the news reached William, In Pickering gaol that Abraham was dead Of tetanus. Now they said the charge Was ‘wilful murder’ . In September, at York Assize, They found William ‘Guilty’, In those days no surprise for a working lad, No defence, no appeal, no hope. The black cap went on over the judges wig. Sentenced to hang at the end of a rope. But this was 1869 and he was lucky. The year before he’d have danced his last jig, Rasping his breath, staining his breeches Before a gasping, leering crowd. Far from Rosedale Village, Abraham’s grave, the Moor, the Mine. This year, the felon would die Behind the Castle walls, unseen. A shroud and an unmarked grave For William Turner, seventeen.
12.
Trappy Lad 04:08
TRAPPY LAD CHORUS It’s blacker than pitch down here And the stench is awful queer And the rats often squeak in my ear And I’ve been back of this door a year. I’m a ‘ Trappy Lad ’. My Father said: “Your eating us out of house and home. You’re a strapping lad, to old to roam, It’s time you were earning your keep. I’ve just the place for thee. I’ll have a word with maister. You can go down mine with me.” Well, me Father spoke to Gaffer And Gaffer said I’d a job, So off we went one morning, I’d left the hearth and hob. The little birds were singing, It was Summer and already light But I thought they’d gotten me out of me bed In the middle of the night. CHORUS We walked all way to the pit And then we walked below. Me Father had a candle lit, Then he said: “No further you go.” There was a big wood door and a little stool. He said: “You sit right there And when you hear the horses come You open door, wide and clear.” Me Father said: “So long lad. I’ve got to get on to face. You’ll not be needing a candle. It won’t last an eight hour shift.” He walked away with his midge And I was left alone. I’d never known it that dark And I began to moan. It’s blacker than pitch down here And the stench is awful queer And the rats often squeak in my ear And I’ve been back of this door a year. I’m a ‘ Trappy Lad ’. Well, I’d got me bate in a box Then I felt summat soft poke me foot. There was rumble, scrabble and squeak. On me own for a six day week Listening for horse and wagon To come clanking up the drift. With only rats to share me cell It seemed an unending shift. With a jammy bit of crust I’ve trained one as my friend It climbs up on my knee. I stroke him from end to end. Mightn’t allus be same one But t’ is company and cheer. If you think you can see in t’dark Then of darkness you’ve no idea. CHORUS They say when I’ve served two years And I get to be fourteen They’ll let me go where the stone is hewed Where I have never been. They’ll give me a horse to drive. On my way up and I’ll start to thrive, And as long as I can keep alive, Survive the rolling wagons, flying spraggs, The rock falls and explosive snags, I’ll no longer be a ‘Trappy Lad’ But a full fledged ironstone miner. It’s blacker than pitch down here And the stench is awful queer And the rats often squeak in my ear And I’ve been back of this door a year. I’m a ‘ Trappy Lad ’.
13.
On 10 March 1877 the Middlesborough News and Cleveland Advertiser carried an article about the advent to Guisborough of AMERICAN BEEF CHORUS It’s scrag end of mutton, neck of lamb, Bread and dripping for scratch-as-you-can. Scrag end of mutton, neck of lamb, Bread and dripping for scratch-as-you-can. So what’s this ‘American beef’, The Papers say is the ‘chief’. It’s all right for some But there’ll be no run For round here we’re all on relief. John Harker in Guisborough has got it All the way from across the sea. He’s a butcher of high reknown But it’s not for you and me. CHORUS We’re ironstone mining all day, Many mouths to feed on our pay. The missus’s purse ‘ll be a lot worse If she’s off buying beef any day. They say it excited spectators, Well any meat ‘ll do that, Even a piece in ‘Hello pie’ Or a stringy bit of cat. CHORUS The farmers round here all complain It’s going to ruin there game, Say British is ‘chief’ Not American beef And Guisborough ‘ll never be t’ same. We reckon it’s a lot of hot air For life will never be fair, A few eats whenever they wish A tasting of every dish But for the ironstone man, Well he eats when he can. It’s scrag end of mutton, neck of lamb, Bread and dripping for scratch-as-you-can. Scrag end of mutton, neck of lamb, Bread and dripping for scratch-as-you-can.
14.
In June 1878 some lads from the iron mining community of Guisborough found a signed message in a Gin bottle between Marske and Saltburn. They gave it to the Authorities. The Authorities were suspicious. TALE FROM A BOTTLE I am a jolly sailor, John Emery is my name, I rub along with folk and most with me the same. I have an eye for the girls and ask, “What sailor has not?” But this is where there was trouble, I used to marry a lot. They say that there are sailors with wives in every port, Well, in my case it used to be true, I’m sorry to report. Then I thought of a way out of this awful mess, Even though it was likely to give many fair maids distress. We’d been drinking Hollands When this startling thought came to me, I’d put a note in a bottle and sail it out to sea. So here’s what I wrote, in my best hand, When I launched the bottle, hoped it would soon find land. “ Schooner ‘Secret’ of Guernsey, Lost foremast and boat, Four foot of water in hold. We’ll not keep afloat. God help us and keep us, I’ll never more roam. I send my love to all at home.” Well, some lads found the bottle upon the home shore. News spread through the land, John Emery was no more. I left the sea. I changed my name, To Sandy Paper, a Scot I became. I set up as merchant in a distant town Far away from the ocean, so I couldn’t drown. I married once more but this time for life And, with my experience before, I chose a good wife. I became a rich man and raised children four And for sins unrevealed I nourished the poor. So all you young men, you listen to me, It’s all very well, when your sailing the sea, To have your wives in plurality But a time it must come When it’s better to run, Leave your wives to their greetin When you’ve had your fun And set up on land Far away from the sea, Yes, set up and shut up, Let your old life be, Get married to one, From others set free.
15.
UPTHE MIZZEN - DOWN THE MINE CHORUS It’s up the mizzen, down the mine. This way of life, it suits me fine. Well, you grub your money where you can, This is the lot of the working man, We‘re a different kind of ‘gentry’. In Summer we miners sail the seas, Up aloft as we leave the Tees. The cargoes heavy we‘ve won from the mine. As she comes about you can hear the ship moan, On course for the furnaces up the Tyne Where they’ll blow the iron right out of the stone. CHORUS Even in Summer the North Seas wild. From the lee shore you can hear the waves. There are sudden squalls to unfather the child. Many’s the cargoe of stone deep below And in Winter, however brave, Prayers will never save you. CHORUS So, in Winter, it’s down we go, Down the mine we sail below Hewing the rock for brown gold That in the Summer fills the hold. CHORUS But still there’s danger in the dark. The wagons will crush you if you lark. The blast will leave you naked, aflame. The rock will snuff you out. Still, it’s watch the way the wind blows. Keeping watch is still the game. CHORUS
16.
ROBERT MUTTEN’S JOURNEY My name is Robert Mutten, in Norfolk was I born. I was pressed into the Navy and sailed around the Horn. The Navy taught me carpentry and how to sail the sea Then I returned to England and married my Sahree. I worked my way at what I could but then the children came And times were hard and costly with the price of Corn Law grain. This hand to mouth existence, it slowly ground us down. Then the news of Australian gold spread through Yarmouth Town. Well, when I heard this news, Sir, I knew gold mining was for me. We all shipped aboard a clipper ship that sailed for the southern sea. After six months storm and tempest, in Australia we arrived And set up camp at Cowies Creek where we just about survived. I got myself a partner and we found gold aplenty. We were doing fine with two more girls and turning into gentry. We set off back to England our new won wealth to show. I left my partner to mind the mine and send what I was due. Well, I got back to Norfolk and we had another bairn But from Australia no money came, I had to set to and earn. Work was hard to come by that could earn me proper pay Then I heard from a seaman of ironstone mines up Whitby way. Well, we shipped aboard a Cat, Sir, bound for Whitby Town. We walked from Whitby to Goathland across moors, up hill and down. We looked for a place to live, Sir, and at Beckhole found a house, The mining had gone from Beckhole so to Grosmont we trudged, no grouse. In Summer we went sailing and wintered down the mine. The next three years weren’t easy but we seemed to be doing fine. I had three more girl bairns born, the eldest were earning their keep, So, life was easier than in the past, still, a miner’s life is cheap. Then, in 1880, Grosmont miners struck And though the union settled, they never took me back. Then I heard they’d got a new owner improving Trimdon Pit. So we up sticks to Trimdon, aged fifty nine, my last flit. So, Doctor, you know my story, how I came to Trimdon Grange, Mining coal for a living far from seas I used to range, Far from Freethorpe, Norfolk, the place where I was born And, Doctor, there’s a sea fog around me and I hear a distant horn.

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released October 29, 2014

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Tony Morris Whitby, UK

TONY MORRIS is an Own Brand Performer and Entertainer who performs his own songs and music.".
Currently running Covideo Folk Club Facebook Group.
About 200 rough and ready warts and all videos on his Facebook Profile Site, Be amazed.
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